Hello Old Friend

Over the past couple of days I have been feeling discomfort in my crown jewels. I made the mistake of going to the hospital of Google. ‘Testicular torsion is an emergency condition. It happens when the spermatic cord, which provides blood flow to the testicle, rotates and becomes twisted. The twisting cuts off the testicle’s blood supply and consequently kills it.’ I panicked and ran to MP Shah yesterday morning. Why MP Shah? Indians give you a certain confidence. Chandaria, Mahtma Gandhi, Aga Khan are people you can rely on. Kenyatta, on the other hand, made beads of sweat form around my forehead in panic.

I get to MP Shah and head straight to the urology department. All I seem to see are women. A man needs to look at a woman and think, ‘Yeah, I could satisfy her. I could give her all of one minute of mind-numbing orgasm.’ We need that feeling even when the woman wouldn’t give us the time of day. You want to look at a nice car and think, ‘When I have money I will drive that someday.’ You don’t want to look at the car and think, ‘I cannot do anything with it because I have no limbs.’ I can imagine it driving me to insanity, forcing me to climb into the same bed sheets with suicide.

The waiting area in MP Shah’s urology is made of glass so that you see your own reflection in it. ‘Hello, Death. We meet again, old friend. Is today the day you finally swing and land the killing blow?’ Testicular torsion is an emergency condition. I’m sitting on a ticking time bomb. Tick tock. 

“There is a Dr. Waihenya and Dr. Wambani in the doctors plaza,“ a fat woman behind a glass booth tells me. Fat women have the cutest faces; it always fascinates me. ‘I could give you all of one minute of mind-numbing orgasm,’ my ego screams. ‘That’s now debatable,’ my uncomfortable groin sings. Tick tock.

I run to the doctor’s plaza. Dr. Waihenya’s office is wide open. I meet a jaded woman there. She could be the same age as my mom. She has a defeated look on her face. As if life happens to her and she doesn’t happen to it. What did her in? Did her husband run away with the secretary? Are her sons doing drugs? Did she have testicular torsion?

“Is Dr. Waihenya in?” I ask with my most polite voice.

“What do you want with him?” she barks with a harsh edge to her tone.

“I need to see him.“

“What do you need to see him for?”

‘I want him to help me plant bananas in Murang’a,’ I feel like telling her.

I am not about to tell this woman my business so she can sing it to her chama friends. “You know Kiragu might do drugs but there are men out here suffering with bigger issues.“

”I just need to see him for consultancy.”

”He’s not in. Today is surgery day. You can come back on Thursday.”

Thursday? Are you kidding me, I don’t have as much as an hour and this woman is talking about  waiting two days.

”I will wait for him.”

”No, no, no. He doesn’t see patients on Tuesday. Rudi Thursday,” she says brusquely.

I look at her face and I immediately realize trying to convince her to let me see Dr. Waihenya will be like beating a dead horse. I don’t have the time. Tick tock. ‘Hello, Death. We meet again. Is today the day you finally swing and land the killing blow?’

My crown jewels are complaining at a higher pitch now. I sit on the benches outside the doctors plaza to get some relief. Women in buibuis are seated on the adjacent bench. Could be Hamida and Aisha. I could give both of them all of thirty seconds each of mind-numbing orgasms. ‘Shut up,’ my crown jewels scream in discomfort. This woman in a yellow coat and tight grey jeans that squeeze her ass like a pair of hands passes in front of me. I look at her. She looks at me. She disappears into an adjacent building. A minute later she walks back. She looks at me. I look at her. I gulp.

‘I can drive that car any time I want.’

‘Can you?’

Tick tock.

”Where is Dr. Wambani’s office?” I am back at the urology desk and the fat woman with the prettiest face is directing me to Medical Services. I get to Medical Services there is another woman there. Thin, wearing a look that says, ‘I just work here.’

”Dr. Wambani is not in. He comes on Wednesday.”

Wednesday? I don’t have thirty minutes.

I punch ‘Dr. Wambani’ into Google. The results read, ‘Dr. Wambani. M.B M.MED. Consultant Surgeon – Urologist.’ I’m impressed by his titles. I click on Google images and I’m further impressed by his old age. The results says he was a clinic in Upperhill. I try the number provided there. It doesn’t go through. I go back to the woman who just works here.

”I understand he has a clinic in Upperhill. Can I get his contacts?”

”I can’t help you with that,” the woman who just works here says while turning her neck from side to side in frenetic movements.

There is a gent beside her. He has a pulse of energy. His job might suck but he knows he doesn’t need to suck doing it.

”Try customer service.” He directs me.

I find a short light skinned woman who is very pregnant. She’s bubbly; you can tell she’s in love and experiencing motherhood for the first time. ”Oh, Dr. Wambani? He comes in on Wednesday morning. Do you want to book?”

”No, I can’t wait till Wednesday morning. I need to see him now. Is there a number I can reach him on. I understand he has a clinic in Upperhill?”

”I don’t know about the number, but let me call someone.” She makes the call. ”He has a consulting clinic at Nairobi Hospital.”

I’m on a Safe Boda weaving through traffic and within fifteen minutes I’m at Nairobi Hospital. MP Shah looks like a hospital. Nairobi Hospital looks like a five star hotel. I look at the pristine marble floor. My reflection stares back at me. ‘Hello, Death. We meet again, old friend. Is today the day you swing at me and land the killing blow?’

I get to the reception. There is a young woman. Early twenties, naïve, she gives off intern vibes. She has short braids and chocolate skin. I can’t tell if she’s curvy under that white robe but I can feel that she is. I immediately know that I would like her. We wouldn’t struggle to have conversations during dates. ‘I could give her all of one minute of mind-numbing orgasms,’ my ego screams. 

‘Shut up.’ My uncomfortable crown jewels slaps my ego with the back of its hand. 

Tick, tock.

”Where is the urology department?” I ask. She looks at me with blank eyes then looks at her colleague. She nudges her and I repeat myself, ”Where is the urology department?” Her colleague is an old woman. She could be my mother’s age. She’s pleasant. You can tell her kids go to group of schools and some have flown out of the country. And maybe she does this job because she loves it and in doing so, she makes an art out of it.

”Are you scheduled to see a doctor?”

”No, I want to see one. Dr. Wambani?”

”Oh, give me a minute, I will call him for you and tell you his whereabouts.”

There are two patients in line. A pregnant woman and another in a buibui. The buibui does a poor job of hiding her curves. She’s called Faiza. She has an edge to her. ”Don’t forget me like you did last time,” she tells the pleasant woman. 

”I won’t forget. Last time the phone wasn’t going through, that’s why I didn’t call you,” she defends herself. 

Faiza disappears. I don’t think lewd thoughts about her. Are my crown jewels finally throwing in the towel? No, no, no. Tick tock.

”Dr. Wambani is at his clinic in Upperhill Medical Centre; 5th floor. His consultation fee is four thousand bob,” the pleasant woman tells me after she is done with the pregnant woman. She makes another call, its to the edgy, curvy Faiza. She is not picking. ”Sasa huyu ameenda wapi? JAVA. Doesn’t she know she is not supposed to eat before theatre?”

‘Come on, Faiza looks like a smart woman. She obviously wouldn’t be at JAVA when she knows she is scheduled for theatre,’ I think to myself while getting out the door.

I run into Faiza coming out of JAVA. Carrying a drink and a very big JAVA bag that could only have food in it.

”Faiza, they are looking for you.”

”Thank you, they have called me.”

”And you are not supposed to eat before theatre,” I tell her like an errant small sister.

She smiles at me. As if it’s no big deal. As if she is just drinking mango juice while in a bank queue instead of waiting to go to theatre. Maybe her stakes are not as high as mine. I bolt towards Upperhill Medical Centre. 

Tick, tock.

Upperhill Medical Centre is less than 150 metres from Nairobi Hospital. Five minutes later I’m in the lifts. Another two and I’m in Dr. Wambani’s waiting area. It’s a big clinic. I try to do the math. This guy makes four thousand a patient. Let’s say on a bad day he sees ten patients at his clinic, ten at Nairobi Hospital and ten at MP Shah. That’s a hundred and twenty thousand in a day. 3.6 million a month. I should have paid more attention in biology class. Instead of being a lowly writer I could have been a real mover and shaker of this economy.

My head is splitting with a migraine by now. I lay down at the reception area while the receptionist fills my records. She has her hair in a perm. She’s in all black, slender. She doesn’t talk much. I can imagine the silent treatment she gives her lovers when they rub her the wrong way.

Another slender woman comes out of Dr. Wambani’s office and I go in. Dr. Wambani’s office tells you clearly that he makes a gross of 3.6 million a month. It’s a corner office with a big window to the rest of the city. He must stand there sometimes and look down at everyone. I know I would. Next to that window is a couch that oozes luxury. Beside it is a mahogany desk. Those desks you see on Furniture Palace brochures going for half a million. In the middle of it is a throne of a chair on which Dr. Wambani sits like a king in his well pressed, milk-white shirt, black pants and black shoes that have been polished to a sparkle. He smiles at me when I go and sit on the couch. My buttocks want to know how luxury feels like too.

”No, that’s too far. Come and sit here and tell me what’s wrong,” he says in a polite voice while pointing to a comfortable-looking green chair. It’s hard to tell but it could be anywhere from thirty thousand to sixty thousand at Furniture Palace.

”I have been feeling discomfort in my crown jewels. I’m afraid it could be the beginning of testicular torsion.”

”Let’s have a look.”

He directs me to an equally uppity dressing room. I haven’t seen a dressing room with such nice curtains before. It’s always drab plastic things.

”Remove your pants and sleep on the bed,” he says without preamble.

Sheesh, not even a coffee first?

I remove my pants obediently. I’m tense. The good doctor is about to touch me in ways my wife might never touch me.

Be gentle, its my first time. 

”Relax, everything will be fine,” he says with all the confidence of a seasoned practitioner and it calms me and I relax.

He puts on his gloves and starts touching me, pressing here and there. Feeling for something.

”This can’t be testicular torsion. If it was, you would be screaming as I put pressure on you. And your veins would be hard and loosely held. Everything is fine. This is just a minor infection.”

He removes his gloves and starts walking to his desk. I halfway put on my pants and penguin-run towards his desk while tying my belt. I sit and he remains standing.

”If I had the slightest feeling that it was testicular torsion, I would have sent you straight to theatre,” he says while towering above me. ”Close your zip,” he tells me, the way a father would tell his three year old boy.

I close my zip, relieved more than anything. The anxiety fades and I feel magically better. I stare at Dr. Wambani’s mahogany desk. My reflection stares back. ‘Hello, Death. You had a clean shot of me today; I should have been yours. But you swung and missed yet again, old friend.’

”What is the window period for you to lose a testicle after testicular torsion?”

”Forty-eight  hours. Here. I will prescribe some antibiotics for you. Have rest and incase of anything call me or text me.” He hands me his card and smiles seeing the tension ebb from my face. ”There is nothing to worry about.”

I get out of the clinic and head to the pharmacy to buy the medication he has prescribed. After that I go to another pharmacy for an M-pesa withdrawal. I decide to buy Mara Moja because my headache is still doing splits. I get Mara Moja and ask for water and then go to the M-pesa booth.  A woman greats me; she’s early to mid-thirties. She’s in good shape. Her face is well oiled, like she knows a thing or two about shea butter and exfoliation. I withdraw two thousand bob.

”You don’t have loose for this?”

”No, we don’t.”

I make for the door. Just as I am about to get out, she calls me by my name.


I go back to the M-pesa booth of the woman who uses shea butter abundantly.

”Here is loose.” She counts eight, 100-bob notes and a 200-bob note. I give her one of the 1,000-bob notes she had given me. She smiles. ”Get well soon.” I smile while taking the loose from her hand. ‘I could give her all of one minute of mind-numbing orgasm.’ 

I get to the house, my headache having ebbed, and stare at the mirror. ‘Hello, Death. You had a clean shot of me today; I should have been yours. But you swung and missed yet again, old friend.’

”There is only one god, and his name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death. ‘Not today’.” – George R. R. Martin

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